Success Stories

Believed to be seen©Manuella Hoefer


Why three dimensions?

Beginning in the late 1940s, transmission electron microscopy of biological specimens has been the standard for studying specimens with a resolution of 2-3nm. Specimens are chemically preserved and stained with heavy metals, primarily uranium and lead, and embedded in an epoxy resin. Ultrathin specimens ranging from 5nm to 50nm thick are made using an ultramicrotome. In the electron microscope, a 2-d image is created when electrons pass through the sample or deflected/defracted by the various densities of stains absorbed differentially by proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, etc. in the specimen.

The two dimentional image is "compressed", showing everything within the thickness of the 3-d specimen. Until the recent developments in electron microscope tomography, there were no method to view the small structures within the specimen itself.

Here, we provide a comprehensive software package that is intuitive, easy to use, and provides high resolution structures within thin sections thicknesses.

Developing EM3D


U. J. McMahan








Last modified: 3/1/22


This Human Brain Project/Neuroinformatics research is funded by the
National Institute of Mental Health